I saw a post on Tumblr about bullying (and Harry Potter, to be specific) and what bullying teaches people about the world, that called on the usual narrative of the deliberately cruel bully who enjoys other people’s pain. And I had some thoughts. So here are some bits of what would my personal How Bullying Works / Why Bullying Happens / On Bullying / etc. that differ from that.
(I was too proud of that subtitle to put it below the cut)
I have some kind of feelings, apparently, about kids innocently agreeing to things that (unknown to them) are dangerous. Especially if the kid in question is honestly convinced that what they’re agreeing to is actually something they want, something good. Double especially if adults who should be trying to protect kids in their care, instead plausible-deniability themselves out of actually trying to prevent this dangerous thing from happening.
Bonus rambly version:
A lot of my issues about politeness and respectability and keeping up appearances come from my mother don’t they.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s considered comparing this stuff to gaslighting. (There are content warnings at the top of the linked page, fyi.)
The similarities being things like:
Thinking that other people’s feelings are extremely important, and carefully protecting them, while believing your own feelings aren’t important at all
Assuming that when people contradict you, they are right and you’re wrong
Doing what other people tell you you should do, and accepting what other people tell you is normal, even if it harms you
I’ll probably write more about this later.
when I decided not to read Amanda Forest Vivian’s whole archive.
Re: kink and disability and weird feelings.
but it pretends to be:
I follow a couple of people on Tumblr who also read the webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court and, by occasionally posting reactions to new pages, remind me to actually read the new pages as they come out.
Currently some bullshit is happening in which the main character’s father (who enrolled her in a boarding school and then vanished, not telling her where he was going or how to contact him, for several years) has returned and is trying to control her life. (Start here, at the time I’m talking about there were about four more pages after that one.)
And I did a thing.
I read the new pages and was all calm like Oh, okay, he’s taking a hard line because he just got here and he has to make a strong start, don’t let it get to you, wait til tomorrow and see how much you can get back.
And then I go to Tumblr and these wonderful people I follow are raging over how horrible and abusive her father is being.
And they’re absolutely right. I was just too busy having a coping mechanism to think about that.